Campbell House Museum – Celebrating a Double Anniversary in 2022

Looking n2021 - Looking north towards the Campbell House Museum located at 160 Queen St W‬ and University Ave in downtown Toronto orth towards the Campbell House Museum located at 160 Queen St W‬ and University Ave in downtown Toronto
2021 – Looking north towards the Campbell House Museum located at 160 Queen St W‬ and University Ave in downtown Toronto

The Campbell House Museum is located at ‪160 Queen St W‬ (at University Ave on the northwest corner) in Downtown Toronto. The year 2022 marks the home’s 200th anniversary and 50th anniversary of the move to Queen St W and University Ave.

The Architecture of the Historic Home

The 2½-storey late Georgian-era home was built in 1822 by Sir William Campbell. It was initially located at 300 Adelaide St E (then known as 46-56 Duke St), opposite Frederick St. The Campbell House is the only remaining residential structure from the Town of York.

The red-brick home has a symmetrical south façade. The main entrance features wood steps and doors, a fanlight and a single-storey, half-round portico supported on four columns. Other exterior architectural highlights of the Palladian-style home include an oval window in the enclosed pediment, tall windows with louvred wood shutters, and quarter-round windows in the attic level on the east and west sides.

Inside the home is a central hall with a semi-circular wood staircase and a fanlight over the north door. There are also original pine floors, brick fireplaces and tall ceilings with plaster mouldings. A room of historical significance is the basement kitchen which features a restored brick floor, fireplace, hearth and oven.

About Sir Campbell

Sir William Campbell played a key role in the early history of the city and province. Born in Caithness, Scotland, in 1758, he first studied law, then became a soldier. Sir Campbell moved to Nova Scotia, becoming a lawyer and politician. In 1811, he and his family moved to the Town of York (then the capital of Upper Canada) as the British crown gave him a judgeship. Sir Campbell was the 6th Chief Justice of Upper Canada and the first judge in Canada to receive a knighthood. In 1829, he retired from the bench.

Sir William Campbell passed away in 1834. His funeral service was held at the Cathedral Church of St James. The land was willed to his wife, Hannah, and was in her name until 1844.

The Home After the Campbell’s

1952 - Masco Electric Company occupied the Campbell House at Adelaide St E (once Duke St) and Frederick St
1952 – Masco Electric Company occupied the Campbell House at Adelaide St E (once Duke St) and Frederick St (Toronto Public Library R-2794)

The property was then owned by various families, including O’Neill, Webber Smith, Sutherland Stayner, Strathy and Fensom. Starting in the late 1800s, the home was then occupied by several businesses, including Fensom Elevator, Otis-Fensom Elevator, The Capewell Horse Nail Company, Hobbs Glass and Masco Electric.

In the mid-1960s, the Campbell House spent a few years vacant until Coutts-Hallmark Greeting Cards purchased the property. They wanted to extend their parking lot and offered the home to anyone who could remove it. A lawyers association called The Advocates Society formed the Sir William Campbell Foundation to save the house from demolition. The Foundation, along with the City of Toronto and the Canada Life Insurance Company, entered into an agreement to move the home to the northwest corner of Queen St W and University Ave.

On the Move

Just after daybreak on March 31, 1972 (Good Friday), the 200-ton heritage home was lifted off its foundation at 300 Adelaide St E and loaded onto three dollies with 56 wheels. It made the slow trek through Toronto’s downtown streets, heading west on Adelaide St to University Ave, then turned north towards Queen St W. Traffic lights and signs as well as hydro, telephone and streetcar wires had to be temporarily repositioned or taken down along the 1.6 km path. There was much media coverage for the move of the 150-year-old home. Hundreds of people lined the streets to see the extraordinary sight.

A year later, the Campbell House was one of the 490 buildings on Heritage Toronto’s initial induction list.

The Campbell House Today

1972 - Crowds around the Campbell House while being relocated to 160 Queen St W‬ and University Ave in downtown Toronto
1972 – Crowds around the Campbell House while being relocated to 160 Queen St W‬ and University Ave in downtown Toronto (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 21, Item 5)

Protecting the home was the start of the historic preservation effort in the city. The grounds of the Campbell House Museum feature a permanent exhibition called Lost & Found with fragments from Toronto’s lost buildings (similar to the rescued relics at Guild Inn Estate). Along with museum exhibits and events, the Campbell House is available for private functions.

A Double Anniversary Celebration

On September 22, 2022, the Campbell House Museum is celebrating the home’s 200th anniversary and 50th anniversary of the move to Queen St W and University Ave. Tickets for this special event can be purchased via the Campbell House Museum website and include an exhibit of photos and film from the 1972 relocation, live music, guest speakers, historical treats and contemporary snacks.

Campbell House Museum Photos

1883 - The Fensom family and Fensom Elevator Works Co occupied the Campbell House when it was located at 300 Adelaide St E (then known as 46-56 Duke St), opposite Frederick St in the Old Town neighbourhood of Toronto
1883 – The Fensom family and Fensom Elevator Works Co occupied the Campbell House when it was located at 300 Adelaide St E (then known as 46-56 Duke St), opposite Frederick St in the Old Town neighbourhood of Toronto (Toronto Public Library R-2647)
2021 - Looking north towards the Campbell House Museum located at 160 Queen St W‬ and University Ave in Downtown Toronto. Behind the historic home is the Canada Life Building
2021 – Looking north towards the Campbell House Museum located at 160 Queen St W‬ and University Ave in Downtown Toronto. Behind the historic home is the Canada Life Building
1888 – A sketch of the Campbell House at 300 Adelaide St E (once known as Duke St) and Frederick St
1888 – A sketch of the Campbell House at 300 Adelaide St E (once known as Duke St) and Frederick St (Toronto Public Library R-2644)
Between 1906 and 1938 - The Capewell Horse Nail Company occupied the Campbell House at Adelaide St E (once known as Duke St) and Frederick St in the Old Town neighbourhood
Between 1906 and 1938 – The Capewell Horse Nail Company occupied the Campbell House at Adelaide St E (once known as Duke St) and Frederick St in the Old Town neighbourhood (Toronto Public Library 964-7-32)
1913 - The Capewell Horse Nail Company occupied the Campbell House from 1906 until 1938, when the home was located at 300 Adelaide St E (once known as Duke St) and Frederick St
1913 – The Capewell Horse Nail Company occupied the Campbell House from 1906 until 1938, when the home was located at 300 Adelaide St E (once known as Duke St) and Frederick St (Toronto Public Library R-3000)
1952 - Looking north from Frederick St towards Adelaide St E (once known as Duke St). Masco Electric Co Ltd occupied the Campbell House from 1951 until 1963
1952 – Looking north from Frederick St towards Adelaide St E (once known as Duke St). Masco Electric Co Ltd occupied the Campbell House from 1951 until 1963 (Toronto Public Library R-2794)
1961 - Masco Electric Co Ltd occupied the Campbell House from 1951 until 1963, when the home was located at 300 Adelaide St E (once known as Duke St) and Frederick St
1961 – Masco Electric Co Ltd occupied the Campbell House from 1951 until 1963, when the home was located at 300 Adelaide St E (once known as Duke St) and Frederick St (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 124, File 1, Item ID 71)
1972 - Crowds around the 200-ton Campbell House while being carefully relocated from 300 Adelaide St E and Frederick St to 160 Queen St W‬ and University Ave
1972 – Crowds around the 200-ton Campbell House while being carefully relocated from 300 Adelaide St E and Frederick St to 160 Queen St W‬ and University Ave (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 21, Item 5)
1972 - The Campbell House being relocated to the southwest corner of Queen St W‬ and University Ave in Downtown Toronto. Notice the street lamp was temporarily moved out of the way
1972 – The Campbell House being relocated to the southwest corner of Queen St W‬ and University Ave in Downtown Toronto. Notice the street lamp was temporarily moved out of the way (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 124, File 2, Item 147)
1972 - The Campbell House making the slow trek on three dollies to its new location at 160 Queen St W‬ and University Ave in Downtown Toronto
1972 – The Campbell House making the slow trek on three dollies to its new location at 160 Queen St W‬ and University Ave in Downtown Toronto (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 21, Item 6)
1972 - In the distance, the Campbell House is on its way from 300 Adelaide St E and Frederick St to its new location at 160 Queen St W‬ and University Ave
1972 – In the distance, the Campbell House is on its way from 300 Adelaide St E and Frederick St to its new location at 160 Queen St W‬ and University Ave (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 124, File 2, ID 144)
1972 – Crowds watching the Campbell House being carefully transported along the streets of Downtown Toronto to its new location on the northwest corner of Queen St W‬ and University Ave
1972 – Crowds watching the Campbell House being carefully transported along the streets of Downtown Toronto to its new location on the northwest corner of Queen St W‬ and University Ave (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 124, File 2, ID 146)
1972 – Almost at its new location, the Campbell House is being relocated to the northwest corner of Queen St W‬ and University Ave in Downtown Toronto. Notice the Canada Life Building on the left
1972 – Almost at its new location, the Campbell House is being relocated to the northwest corner of Queen St W‬ and University Ave in Downtown Toronto. Notice the Canada Life Building on the left (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 124, File 2, ID 148)
1972 – Restoration work being done on the Campbell House after it was relocated to 160 Queen St W and University Ave from 300 Adelaide St E and Frederick St
1972 – Restoration work being done on the Campbell House after it was relocated to 160 Queen St W and University Ave from 300 Adelaide St E and Frederick St (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 2032, Series 841, File 57, Item 26)
1973 – Looking northwest towards the Campbell House Museum and Canada Life Building at Queen St W and University Ave
1973 – Looking northwest towards the Campbell House Museum and Canada Life Building at Queen St W and University Ave (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 21, Item 7)
1977 - Looking northeast from Simcoe St and Queen St W towards a TTC streetcar and the Campbell House
1977 – Looking northeast from Simcoe St and Queen St W towards a TTC streetcar and the Campbell House (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 70, Item 8)
2022 – Looking northeast from the garden towards the Campbell House Museum located at 160 Queen St W‬ and University Ave in Downtown Toronto. Notice the fragment from the Imperial Oil Building (1916-1969), once located at 92 King St E, from the museum's Lost & Found collection
2022 – Looking northeast from the garden towards the Campbell House Museum located at 160 Queen St W‬ and University Ave in Downtown Toronto. Notice the fragment from the Imperial Oil Building (1916-1969), once located at 92 King St E, from the museum’s Lost & Found collection
2021 - Looking north towards the Campbell House Museum located at Queen St W‬ and University Ave with the Canada Life Building in the background. The lawn and gardens of the Campbell House also features architectural fragments from demolished Toronto buildings
2021 – Looking north towards the Campbell House Museum located at Queen St W‬ and University Ave with the Canada Life Building in the background. The lawn and gardens of the Campbell House also features architectural fragments from demolished Toronto buildings
2022 - Campbell House Museum entrance features wood steps and doors, a fanlight and a single-storey, half-round portico supported on four columns. At the attic level is an enclosed pediment with an oval window
2022 – Campbell House Museum entrance features wood steps and doors, a fanlight and a single-storey, half-round portico supported on four columns. At the attic level is an enclosed pediment with an oval window
2022 – The first-floor hall at the Campbell House Museum features a restored semi-circular wood staircase
2022 – The first-floor hall at the Campbell House Museum features a restored semi-circular wood staircase
2022 – The sitting room at the Campbell House Museum is located on the first floor and features restored niches flanking the brick fireplace
2022 – The sitting room at the Campbell House Museum is located on the first floor and features restored niches flanking the brick fireplace
2022 – A portrait of Sir William Campbell in a niche in the first-floor sitting room
2022 – A portrait of Sir William Campbell in a niche in the first-floor sitting room
2022 – A portrait of Sir William Campbell at the Campbell House Museum
2022 – A portrait of Sir William Campbell at the Campbell House Museum
2022 – A portrait of Lady Hannah Campbell in a niche in the first-floor sitting room
2022 – A portrait of Lady Hannah Campbell in a niche in the first-floor sitting room
2022 – A portrait of Lady Hannah Campbell at the Campbell House Museum
2022 – A portrait of Lady Hannah Campbell at the Campbell House Museum
2022 – The dining room at the Campbell House Museum is located on the first floor. Along with period furniture and artifacts, the room features a brick fireplace with a wood mantel
2022 – The dining room at the Campbell House Museum is located on the first floor. Along with period furniture and artifacts, the room features a brick fireplace with a wood mantel
2022 – A Federal-style convex mirror in the dining room of the Campbell House Museum
2022 – A Federal-style convex mirror in the dining room of the Campbell House Museum
2022 – The bedroom at the Campbell House Museum is located on the second floor. It features period furniture and artifacts. Notice the original pine floor
2022 – The bedroom at the Campbell House Museum is located on the second floor. It features period furniture and artifacts. Notice the original pine floor
2022 – A hat box in the bedroom at the Campbell House Museum
2022 – A hat box in the bedroom at the Campbell House Museum
2022 – The quarter-round windows in the attic level on the east and west side of the home were replaced with new ones during the 1972 restoration. This original window was found in a dumpster during that restoration, and in 2018, it was returned to the museum
2022 – The quarter-round windows in the attic level on the east and west side of the home were replaced with new ones during the 1972 restoration. This original window was found in a dumpster during that restoration, and in 2018, it was returned to the museum
2022 – Information about the original Campbell House attic window on display at the museum
2022 – Information about the original Campbell House attic window on display at the museum
2022 – A room on the second floor at the Campbell House Museum. Notice the original pine floor, the decorative fireplace, the elegant drapery and the plaster ceiling with mouldings
2022 – A room on the second floor at the Campbell House Museum. Notice the original pine floor, the decorative fireplace, the elegant drapery and the plaster ceiling with mouldings
2022 – Looking through a second-floor east side window at the Campbell House Museum. Notice the South African War Memorial and the top of Toronto City Hall towers
2022 – Looking through a second-floor east side window at the Campbell House Museum. Notice the South African War Memorial and the top of Toronto City Hall towers
2022 – A hallway on the first floor of the Campbell House Museum. Notice the fanlight over the door
2022 – A hallway on the first floor of the Campbell House Museum. Notice the fanlight over the door
2022 – The fanlight over a door inside the Campbell House Museum
2022 – The fanlight over a door inside the Campbell House Museum
2022 – The restored basement kitchen in the Campbell House Museum features a brick hearth, bake oven and floor. It's of particular historical significance
2022 – The restored basement kitchen in the Campbell House Museum features a brick hearth, bake oven and floor. It’s of particular historical significance
2022 – The original brick hearth, bake oven and floor in the basement kitchen of the Campbell House Museum
2022 – The original brick hearth, bake oven and floor in the basement kitchen of the Campbell House Museum
2022 - The front entrance of the Campbell House Museum. Notice the wood doors, three-quarter length sidelights and the multi-paned fanlight
2022 – The front entrance of the Campbell House Museum. Notice the wood doors, three-quarter length sidelights and the multi-paned fanlight
2022 – Campbell House timeline
2022 – Campbell House timeline
2022 – Looking north from the garden towards the Campbell House Museum located at 160 Queen St W‬ and University Ave in Downtown Toronto. Notice the Corinthian capital fragment from the Bank of Toronto Building, once located at 55 King St W, from the museum's Lost & Found collection
2022 – Looking north from the garden towards the Campbell House Museum located at 160 Queen St W‬ and University Ave in Downtown Toronto. Notice the Corinthian capital fragment from the Bank of Toronto Building, once located at 55 King St W, from the museum’s Lost & Found collection
2021 - The main entrance of the Campbell House Museum features wood steps and doors, a fanlight and a single-storey, half-round portico supported on four columns
2021 – The main entrance of the Campbell House Museum features wood steps and doors, a fanlight and a single-storey, half-round portico supported on four columns
2022 – The Campbell House Museum is a 2½-storey late Georgian-era home built in 1822 by Sir William Campbell. The historic home is located at 160 Queen St W‬ and University Ave on the northwest corner in Downtown Toronto
2022 – The Campbell House Museum is a 2½-storey late Georgian-era home built in 1822 by Sir William Campbell. The historic home is located at 160 Queen St W‬ and University Ave on the northwest corner in Downtown Toronto
2020 - Sir William Campbell heritage plaque
2020 – Sir William Campbell heritage plaque
2020 - The Campbell House was once located on this site at 300 Adelaide St E and Frederick St. Today, the site is home to George Brown College - Hospitality and Tourism Campus
2020 – The Campbell House was once located on this site at 300 Adelaide St E and Frederick St. Today, the site is home to George Brown College – Hospitality and Tourism Campus
1924 - Looking northwest towards the future site of the Campbell House Museum and Canada Life Building at Queen St W and University Ave. Notice the South African War Memorial on the right
1924 – Looking northwest towards the future site of the Campbell House Museum and Canada Life Building at Queen St W and University Ave. Notice the South African War Memorial on the right (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1244, Item 7363)
1924 - Looking north on University Ave from Queen St W. Before the Campbell House was relocated here, the northwest corner was once home to a building with a tailor and a branch of The Canadian Bank of Commerce. Notice the South African War Memorial on the right
1924 – Looking north on University Ave from Queen St W. Before the Campbell House was relocated here, the northwest corner was once home to a building with a tailor and a branch of The Canadian Bank of Commerce. Notice the South African War Memorial on the right (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1244, Item 7364)

Lost & Found Building Fragments at Campbell House Museum

2020 - Fragments from the Bank of Montreal Building, once located at 50 King St W, are on display outside the Campbell House Museum
2020 – Fragments from the Bank of Montreal Building (1948-1975), once located at 50 King St W, are on display outside the Campbell House Museum
2020 - Fragment from the Amen House (1929-1964), once located at 480 University Ave, is on display in the garden at the Campbell House Museum
2020 – Fragment from the Amen House (1929-1964), once located at 480 University Ave, is on display in the garden at the Campbell House Museum
2020 - Corinthian capital fragment from the Bank of Toronto Building (1912-1966), once located at 55 King St W, is on display in front of the Campbell House Museum
2020 – Corinthian capital fragment from the Bank of Toronto Building (1912-1966), once located at 55 King St W, is on display in front of the Campbell House Museum
2020 - Fragment from the Imperial Oil Building (1916-1969), once located at 92 King St E, is on display on the front lawn of the Campbell House Museum
2020 – Fragment from the Imperial Oil Building (1916-1969), once located at 92 King St E, is on display on the front lawn of the Campbell House Museum
2020 - Panel fragments from The Granite Club (tall panel, 1926-1972), once located at 63 St Clair Ave W and Toronto Star Building (short panel, 1929-1972), once located at 80 King St W, are on display outside the Campbell House Museum
2020 – Panel fragments from The Granite Club (tall panel, 1926-1972), once located at 63 St Clair Ave W and Toronto Star Building (short panel, 1929-1972), once located at 80 King St W, are on display outside the Campbell House Museum
2020 - Fragments from the Ontario Bank (1868-1964), once located at 92 King St E, are on display in the garden of the Campbell House Museum
2020 – Fragments from the Ontario Bank (1868-1964), once located at 92 King St E, are on display in the garden of the Campbell House Museum
2020 - Fragment from the Town of York's New Courthouse (1824-1853), once located at 92 King St E, is on display outside the Campbell House Museum
2020 – Fragment from the Town of York’s New Courthouse (1824-1853), once located at 92 King St E, is on display outside the Campbell House Museum
2020 - Rediscover fragments of old Toronto in the garden and lawn at Campbell House Museum’s Lost & Found exhibit at 160 Queen St W‬ and University Ave
2020 – Rediscover fragments of old Toronto in the garden and lawn at Campbell House Museum’s Lost & Found exhibit at 160 Queen St W‬ and University Ave
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